5 Ways the Airline Industry Has Given Up on Us

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It's no secret airline travel has gotten worse in recent years, even before the 9/11 gut check.

Normally, businesses facing that perception from customers would change their ways.

Recent developments suggest the airline industry is doing just that: by totally giving up on the flying public.

Five ways this is true follow after the jump . . .

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Early Wednesday morning, United Airlines and American Airlines planes arriving from Chicago and Miami, respectively, were unable to reach the Ronald Reagan National Airport control tower in Washington, D.C. Both landed on their own without the Reagan tower, talking instead to an air-traffic controller at a regional airport and announcing their actions to other aircraft in the area. The FAA is investigating whether Reagan Airport's lone controller on duty fell asleep.

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Consumers paid more than $9.2 billion in fees to U.S. airlines in 2010, and a good half were hidden from passengers, travel agents and cheap-ticket websites, the Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) reported March 10. A study by the nonprofit CTA found passengers on average paid a total of $36.80 in fees for checked baggage and other services per every round-trip ticket--nearly $150 for a family of four. Pay more, get less.

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The industry blames more and rising hidden and unhidden fees on rising aviation fuel prices. They've spiked something like six times in the past year. To keep flying affordable in these budget-crunched times, the public has responded by checking in fewer bags, cramming more into their carry-ons. But we can't win this shell game because, this month, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) revealed it wants airport fees raised because more TSA manpower is being expended to check carry-ons. Guess who those fees will be passed on to?

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No mention of diminished quality sparks greater outrage than the disappearing snack cart. Continental Airlines in October joined the growing list of carriers that stopped passing out free snacks to those flying coach on domestic routes. Others, such as Southwest, have continued (and trumpeted) their free munchies. Continental's move was immediately damned. "No more pretzels? Really? Is that the secret to running a successful 21st-century airline?" one blogger asked. TravelMole's David Wilkening mades a bold prediction: "Coming next for airlines: bread and water." It is getting like prison up there, after all.

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Airline "saddle seats," which would allow more fare buyers to be crammed into cabins by having passengers essentially stand up during flights, were unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas conference in Long Beach last September. Gitty-up!

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7 comments
domestic airport
domestic airport

 are this information really true? no contact with the tower? that seems so scary, what if something happens to the plane?  that is a mistake really. i do not actually care about the data being held here, all i want is for them to be more devoted to their job since they are being paid.

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Annapolis2
Annapolis2

The airline industry doesn't care that innocent people are being cruelly traumatized by TSA thugs. Airlines haven't spoken up about the travesty of sexual-assault-style patdowns, child pornography, and needless radiation exposure that the TSA inflicts on people for no purpose whatsoever. These physical acts of violence against our bodies don't even stop box cutters and guns, so why are parents lining up their children to pose for naked pictures? I wrote to all of my airlines in early November, explaining why I no longer feel safe flying with them. Actually, I know we are all extraordinarily safe flying. The most dangerous thing about flying is the risk of having your belongings stolen, your DNA damaged, your naked body ogled, your pants invaded, and your genitals fondled by these depraved molesters in blue shirts. I won't fly while the TSA treats us all like their personal porn stash. Fight! My airlines tried to deny me refunds for several tickets after the TSA started physically abusing passengers! I got my refunds with the help of my credit card company, but I'm disgusted that the airlines want me to be degraded and sexually humiliated like this.

Guest
Guest

Interestingly enough, my next door neighbor works for the TSA. She refuses to fly these days because by her own admission, the very procedures that she and her colleagues put people through are a wast of time and inappropriate. Pretty unsettling to here something like that from the horses mouth but I suppose it is what it is. I don't blame her though. She's just doing her job in accordance with the training and guidelines she's given.

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Thiefofhearts
Thiefofhearts

I hope not! I'd have a lot more work to turn the airline magazine into a puppet!

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